The Happiest Person In The World
It’s easy to Google and find out who is the happiest person in the world. I don’t know if you already know the answer or not. If you don’t, what will be your guess? Jeff Bezos? Bill Gates? Elon Musk? Well, it turns out that as per Google, the happiest person in the world is not a billionaire, but a monk.
The name of this monk is Matthieu Ricard. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist, conducted a 12-year scientific study to find the happiest man on Earth. Ricard was a part of this quest, and he emerged to be the winner.
Anyway, this article is not about Matthieu Ricard. It is about happiness. I mentioned him because it makes me wonder how is it that a monk who is devoid of any possessions is happier than billionaires who have almost everything in this physical world available to their wish?
Access To Happiness
Almost all Human beings lookout for happiness all the time, but what is it really? Happiness is a feeling that our species perceives to be pleasurable. The emphasis here is on the word ‘feeling.’ Now there are mainly two types of happiness:
- Indirect Happiness
- Direct Happiness
Indirect happiness is what we get through various means. Those means can be money, relationships, purpose, beauty, passion, sex, traveling, shopping, exercise, yoga, entertainment, etc. When we believe that it is through these mediums that happiness is achieved, we distance ourselves from the direct access of it and put these mediums in between. Hence, whenever we have access to these means, we stay happy, but as soon as our access is limited or cut off, happiness becomes a distant dream, and we experience suffering.
But what if we don’t actually need these means to achieve happiness? What if it is directly available to us? This idea of having direct access to happiness without any means will freak out many people. That is because most of us are conditioned by society that way. Society has made us believe that we need money, relationships, comfort, education, material possessions, and “necessary” things to lead a happy life. But the fact that monks lead much peaceful and joyful lives than billionaires and so-called successful people, shows that what the society calls ‘need’ is just an illusion, indeed!
Therefore, happiness can be directly achieved when we give up the illusion that we need anything. When we stop relying on the means, we remove any barriers and directly experience that feeling of joy and bliss. In fact, to achieve long-term happiness, it is essential to end our dependency on external factors. Happiness is present in plain sight within us, and we have been ignoring it all our lives. It is time to reclaim what is ours!
The Power Of Losing It All!
I would like to tell you a personal story. It was month-end, and I was expecting my monthly payment from my client. This payment was critical because, at that point, I had just $50 in my bank account, and the very next day, I had to pay my rent and other bills. I got a call from my client, and they told me that it will be impossible for them to process my payment that month, as their portal was hacked and there were some serious technical issues they were facing.
I had no idea what to do. I was new in that city, and there was no one I knew who could help me. I decided to go for a walk in the woods. I was sitting near a lake, contemplating my situation. I felt that I had lost everything. I had no money, no relationship, and I was about to be pressurized to pay my bills the very next day. It was then that something really strange happened. It was as if certain energy surrounded my body. I instantly felt calm. This energy made me say the following words, “Dear Universe, it is you who has brought me to this city, and I know that it is you who will take care of me.” As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I experienced the most blissful feeling I ever felt in my life. Losing everything and still feeling so happy was the most powerful experience of my life! I became fearless! It was then I clearly understood the illusion of need. The next morning my bank account got credited with my monthly payment. My client told me that somehow as if miraculously, their systems got fixed, and the payment was processed.
I told you this story to reiterate that happiness is within us. When you lose everything but still are able to stay happy, that is when your real power emerges. Your life never stays the same again!